I was 26 years old living in Chicago, working as the marketing director of an automotive company. The acne I’d dealt with as a teenager had returned with a vengeance and I was also dealing with digestive issues, fatigue, and brain fog. I chalked it up to the stress of moving to a new city — a new country — and the aftermath of my divorce. I always assumed I ate pretty healthy, so food wasn’t on my radar. I went to see every doctor there was and tried all the medications.
The antibiotics the dermatologist prescribed made my stomach worse. The GI wanted me to do a colonoscopy. Finally, at the insistence of a friend I went to see a naturopath at Northwestern who gave me a food sensitivity test. This was back in the day when you didn’t get your results immediately — it took a few days. I was about to head to Italy and I just had a feeling the test would come back with something on dairy or gluten. Sure enough I got back and the test results showed a thick red line across dairy that could have easily run straight off the page.
My naturopath said to me, “I think it would be best if you never eat dairy again in your life.” At the time I couldn’t have thought of a more bizarre recommendation. And looking back I also see where the gap was. After she said this, she set me on my way to figure out my new lifestyle. My energy began to make a comeback immediately and my skin took about 6 months to clear up. I was so intrigued and amazed by what was happening that I began to passionately research and read everything I could about nutrition, dairy, and eventually a plant-based diet.
Eventually, out of my own frustration and passion to help others and with zero cooking experience, I started a recipe blog that centered on simple plant-based recipes you could make with the ingredients already in your kitchen. I went back to school to become an integrative health coach and the blog turned into a coaching business.
Today, after working with over 75 clients I offer a personal coaching program that takes people from “I’m curious about plant-based eating” to “I can see how this works in my life.”